Accusing someone in a federal lawsuit of illegally downloading pornography is by itself so potentially embarrassing that it puts undue pressure on an accused person to settle, a watchdog group has told judges in Texas and West Virginia.
Several porn studios have alleged in copyright complaints in those states that thousands of people illegally shared adult films via peer-to-peer networks and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the best known advocates for tech companies and Internet users, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the defendants.
EFF has asked the courts hearing the cases to "block requests [by … Read more
The so-called Netflix killers built by HBO and Cinemax got a boost today as AT&T announced that customers of the company's U-verse service will have online access to shows from those pay TV services.
AT&T said that customers of U-verse, an Internet protocol TV service that as of a year ago had 2 million subscribers, can log on to Hbogo.com and Maxgo.com and watch their shows via the Web--provided they also subscribe to HBO and Cinemax.
Let's put this matter to rest right now: Any Facebook application that offers to reveal who is viewing your profile is a scam. Period.
Security research firm Sophos posted a memo about a rogue app that was spread on Facebook recently with messages like "OMG ... I can't believe this actually works! Now you really can see who viewed your profile!"
The app is bogus. I've asked a Facebook representative about this before, and he told me that apps on the site do not have the ability to track who is viewing profiles.
A reader e-mailed me the other day with a request that I write a column on a specific topic. Usually, these requests involve explaining the differences between two technologies or products, but this reader was wondering why I hadn't yet written about how e-readers like the Kindle and Nook basically pay for themselves.
No, not exactly. But the argument goes like this: if you're an avid reader who buys a decent amount of hardcover books, you can save some dough on each purchase by buying the e-book.
Before, when Amazon was selling most e-books for $9.99 or less, the savings could be in the $5-$15 range, depending on where you got your books (if you stuck to Amazon, you were looking at an average of $6-$8). However, now that a lot of new titles are running $11.99 and up, the savings has been compressed, but there are still some bucks to be saved.
Put succinctly, it's that old the-more-you-spend-the-more-you-save line of reasoning, and this reader, who estimates that she buys about 20 hardcovers a year, says she expects to pocket about $100 the first year after moving to an e-reader. At 18 months, she'll break even on her Kindle Wi-Fi and gets the added bonus of downloading all those free classics that are readily available in the Kindle Store.
Of course, the big counter-argument comes from all those folks who buy used instead of new--or get hand-me-downs from friends and family--and often spend very little on their paper books. Also, I've seen many a CNET message board post proclaiming the virtues of the local library, where you can, after all, check books out for free. The disciples of this philosophy bring a freegan approach to reading, and more power to them.
But let's go back to the question of whether an e-reader can really pay for itself.… Read more
PC shipments around the world should rise this year and next, according to the latest estimates from Gartner. But the forecast doesn't look as promising as it did a few months ago, largely due to the impact of the iPad and other tablets.
For 2010, computer shipments are expected to hit 352.4 million units, a 14.3 percent rise from 2009. But that estimate is down from Gartner's prior forecast in September in which it was eyeing growth of 17.9 percent for the year.
Continuing that trend, shipments should reach 409 million in 2011, a 15.… Read more
The adoption of 3DTVs is expected to spike next year.
Futuresource Consulting predicts that 4 million 3DTVs will be sold worldwide by the end of this year. The figure could at least double next year to 5 million 3DTVs in the U.S. and 3 million in Western Europe, the market researcher said today. Futuresource added that so far, "year-one adoption of 3DTV is running at a far quicker rate in most territories than it did for high-definition."
According to Futuresource, vendors are seeing value in delivering 3D in their sets and "manufacturers are now able to … Read more
This year's Black Friday saw a healthy rise in online sales, according to stats out today from ComScore.
Cybershoppers collectively plunked down $648 million online on Friday, a gain of 9 percent over the same day last year. Thanksgiving, a day where people typically spend more time filling their bellies than emptying their wallets, saw a solid 28 percent rise in cybersales from last year, hitting $407 million.
Overall, the online holiday shopping season has been robust so far, according to market researcher ComScore, with $11.64 billion spent at e-commerce outlets from November 1 to 26, a gain … Read more
Microsoft wants to build a pay-TV subscription service to offer to Xbox Live customers, according to a published report.
Citing two anonymous sources, Reuters reported today that Microsoft has spoken with media companies about licensing "TV networks."
The talks are in the early stages, according to the report from the wire service, but some of Microsoft's proposals include offering individual channels, such as HBO or Showtime, directly or "using Xbox to authenticate existing cable subscribers to watch shows with enhanced interactivity similar to how pay TV operators have sought to do over the Web," Reuters … Read more
If you want to ask President George W. Bush a question, you'll have your chance.
Starting at 2 p.m. PT today, the former U.S. leader will be talking about his new book, "Decision Points," and fielding questions from Facebook users.
The event is shaping up to be a big one. Facebook's announcement yesterday of the event has been "liked" by over 7,000 people. The post also has over 2,600 comments, as of this writing. A similar announcement on the George W. Bush Facebook page has over 288 comments and more … Read more